Woman in Wyoming: I can’t join the Cpt Marvel reviews since I haven’t seen it yet
Me: Oh you joining the boycott?
Man in Copenhagen: Hey sometimes it’s hard to get out every month for the new Marvel movie
Which is how approaching Captain Marvel, or any other superhero / culture war movie du jour feels. So rather than give you very serious thoughtful analysis, you get two hot takes.
1. What sort of genre media gives you:
- Protagonist is an experimental pilot and puts way too much of their thoughts and history in the context and metaphors of being a pilot.
- Trippy memory sequences where scenes from childhood are injected with alien absurdity, and snarky manipulators of the memory giving commentary.
- Cute, innocuous seeming animals that are dangerous monsters.
- Wise-guy humor from aliens in exotic makeup.
- The avatar of an unknowable alien intelligence talking to the protagonist in the image of their parental figure.
- Alien empires conflicting in ambiguous politics but our heroes mostly think "fuck your bullshit" about the politics and prevent massacres.
- Protagonist has the seed of immense power within them, that they only somewhat control and is growing.
- Buddy cop comedy.
I'm saying it's basically Farscape. They might as well say Carol Danvers was shot through a wormhole as the opening credits highlight. It just has the same very surreal style as many Farscape episodes (how many episodes does Chricton wake up brainwashed thinking he is a member of an alien species?)
This is not a criticism. Farscape is great, and more of it is fun. But there's value in dropping the lens of "is this a typical Marvel movie" and wondering "what is this more like a typical example of?"
Let's be honest. For all the genderwar cultural fire there has been over this movie... the main character could have been Carl Danvers, played by a dude, and like two entire lines in the movie wouldn't work. Other than those two lines (a flashback to a douchebro saying "it's called a cockpit for one reason (which would be dismissed as drunken rambling) and her best friend saying "we had to be experimental pilots because they wouldn't let women fly in combat" (which wtf that's not remotely true, experimental piloting is very risky and also male dominated -why have your sexism be completely fake)) nothing about the movie wouldn't make sense.
Sure, there's a (very undeveloped) theme of "you have to trust your emotions even when other people are saying to be logical" and "you have to believe in yourself even when other people belittle you" that will trigger anyone with highly sensitive political antennae... but honestly if you had that said about a male superhero, in a movie coming out of the 90's, no one would blink an eye. Those comments are not at all gendered unless you are expecting them to be.
And if your "breakthrough female character" can be replaced with no changes with a male, well a) that's actually good in terms of "acting egalitarianism", but b) you are not exactly rocking the world with the revolutionary political message of your movie.
Don't let cultural memes pull you into "controversies" when the substance of the fight is something as anodyne and milquetoast as this. It's an extremely gender neutral flashbang movie (that resembles most, a 90's scifi channel show.)
Don't fight over things not worth it just because "have you heard what they're saying on RottenTomatoes it's so upsetting." Watch the object in question yourself.